Travel is a fantastic topic to discuss online, and oftentimes, the more you seek out a subject and intend to learn about it, the more fascinating it becomes. Many fellow travelers have asked me to write a piece on how to select the best travel luggage, but I feel that there are plenty of other sources online that can do the topic more justice than I ever could. Instead, this article is going to focus on keeping your luggage safe while you travel as few online articles discuss this all too important aspect of travel.

If you happen to be a frequent flyer racking up those miles, chances are you’ve dealt with misplaced, stolen or lost luggage at some point. Of course, there are plenty of horror stories circulating when it comes to luggage, so you may have heard some from people you know. Apart from lost or stolen luggage, you may be faced with a different issue: your luggage has been damaged in some way. Usually, if your luggage breaks, it’s often the result of careless handling by airline staff, but not always.

Keeping your luggage safe and secure is probably a topic worth discussing more than how to choose the best suitcase or duffel bag for your travels. Meanwhile, some travelers are undoubtedly going to focus on the aesthetics of travel, I can’t with good conscience let you go on your next trip without discussing the proper usage of your luggage.

The number one way that you can damage your luggage is through the act of over packing, which basically entails squeezing absolutely everything into your suitcase whether or not it fits. The best way you can clearly avoid this quite common problem is by figuring out the actual capacity of your luggage. In layman’s terms, how much can your suitcase hold? The act of over packing your luggage can cause too much pressure on the inside compartment and not only result in a broken zipper, but serious damage to the exterior of the luggage in case it’s dropped or roughly handled.

How can you combat the issue of over packing? For some, the only option is to downsize until everything fits. With that being said, I highly advise purchasing additional luggage to make everything fit. When all else fails, a carry-on bag is the most reasonable choice. Don’t forget that you can purchase straps that can protectively wrap around your bags to prevent spilling or serious damage.

The future is unpredictable, but you can rest assured that thieves will take your luggage apart if you pack valuables such as money, jewelry, checks, and any forms of identification inside. There’s, of course, the very real possibility of your luggage being misplaced or re-routed. The best way to deal with such a potential issue is to pack any and all valuables inside of your carry-on bag that you can keep with you at all times. This can keep valuables secure in case your luggage is lost or stolen.

Losing luggage is quite a common problem with airlines worldwide. Of course, when you really think about it, there are thousands of bags getting processed daily, so it’s understandable. Once again, you can keep your luggage safe and secure by writing your full name and address inside all of your bags. In fact, you should make sure this information is clearly typed out. When finished, place it in a visible spot for staff to refer to.